The Last Catholic in America (Loyola Classics)


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They no longer say their rosaries. Then, sooner or later, weakened by their lack of prayer, they fall into a mortal sin: they deliberately eat meat on Friday or, for no good reason, they skip Mass on Sunday. That is, indeed, what has happened to Eddie Ryan as an adult. In one of the best chapters in the book, Ryan remembers the agonies and ecstasies associated with his first experience of confession.

When the priest asked me if I was sorry for my sins, in a moment of indifference, I gave him an honest answer. He shouted.


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I left. By then, there was more than a darkened window separating us.

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Never again to experience the exhilaration of rising from the spiritually dead. Never again to be free from sin, free from sin, free from sin. In many instances, the book drifts away from the Church altogether. The sense of community that Powers emphasizes in his book is in many ways lost for us today. The idea that our parishes are defined by our neighborhoods, and not by personal taste, has vanished. Go somewhere else. Bored by the liturgy?

Department of Classics

In the sixth book of the Confessions, Augustine tells of his meeting with Ambrose, an encounter that was indisputably of great importance in the history of the Church. He writes in his text that whenever he went to see the Bishop of Milan, he would regularly find him taken up with catervae of people full of problems for whose needs he did his utmost. There was always a long queue waiting to talk to Ambrose, seeking in him consolation and hope. When Ambrose was not with them, with the people and this happened for the space of the briefest of moments , he was either restoring his body with the necessary food or nourishing his spirit with reading.

Here Augustine marvels because Ambrose read the Scriptures with his mouth shut, only with his eyes cf. Confessions, 6, 3. That Ambrose could scan the pages with his eyes alone suggested to the admiring Augustine a rare ability for reading and familiarity with the Scriptures.

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Thus, with regard to the magisterium of Ambrose and of Augustine, catechesis is inseparable from witness of life. What I wrote on the theologian in the Introduction to Christianity might also be useful to the catechist. The true disciple is ultimately the one whose proclamation of the Gospel is the most credible and effective. To us Christ is all! If you have a wound to heal, he is the doctor; if you are parched by fever, he is the spring; if you are oppressed by injustice, he is justice; if you are in need of help, he is strength; if you fear death, he is life; if you desire Heaven, he is the way; if you are in the darkness, he is light….

Let us also hope in Christ.

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We shall thus be blessed and shall live in peace. Ron Hansen wrote the introduction for that edition. And so the conversations — mostly between Daniel the father and three of his friends, whom he gathers during the course of the day for support and, more importantly, as his audience. Most of it highly overrated.

And most of it capable of anything. A boundless capacity for lunacy, deceit. It all matters very little. In the long run. The final section of the book is, of course, a conversation — a terrifically long one in which Daniel and his son Tom hash out all their mutual resentments and anger. I…skimmed it, hoping for some subtlety or layers, but they were not to be found.

So — maybe ninety minutes of my life? Not a waste — there were some amusing exchanges and I liked the priest character. Some thoughts on the whole cutting-the-cord thing. My younger son had an orthodontist appointment yesterday, and will be in a heap of discomfort for a couple of days — so the menu will consist mostly of mashed potatoes and pudding.

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Short post today. And maybe other things.

follow site I got halfway through this one and was enjoying it, so during a library stop, I pulled several more, anticipating a week or so of immersion in that world. Ahh…Better Call Saul will be on tonight. For the record, the guys are 17 — not too far from 18 — and almost And plays it several times a day now. We also take the summer to do a lot of eating out — trying out various holes-in-the-wall in and around town, mostly.

The Last Catholic in America (Loyola Classics) The Last Catholic in America (Loyola Classics)
The Last Catholic in America (Loyola Classics) The Last Catholic in America (Loyola Classics)
The Last Catholic in America (Loyola Classics) The Last Catholic in America (Loyola Classics)
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The Last Catholic in America (Loyola Classics) The Last Catholic in America (Loyola Classics)
The Last Catholic in America (Loyola Classics) The Last Catholic in America (Loyola Classics)
The Last Catholic in America (Loyola Classics) The Last Catholic in America (Loyola Classics)
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The Last Catholic in America (Loyola Classics)

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